Waverley Estate was built in 1856 as a simple three roomed cottage
and separate barn constructed of local bluestone.
In 1863 it was purchased by school teacher George Anstey, fondly
known as 'Gentleman George', who turned the barn into the School
House and added two formal rooms and the portico to the existing
bluestone cottage and called it the 'George Anstey Academy for
Young Gentlemen'. One hundred and forty years ago young men
would learn the finer points of calligraphy and the joys of
double entry bookkeeping. However, in 1869 at the tender age of
32 years George sadly died in a riding accident.
Shortly following, the property belonged to John and Isabel Inglis.
Formerly a shepherd in Scotland, John and his wife Isabel were
married in 1836 and immigrated to South Australia in 1847. They
retired to Port Elliot (Waverley) and died within three weeks of
one another in 1897 and were buried in the Port Elliot cemetery.
Mary Brackenridge nee Inglis (born Scotland 1839), the eldest
Inglis daughter, moved to Waverley after the death of her
husband to care for her ageing parents. Then Mary's nephew and
niece, Samuel and Isabella (Bell) Inglis came to live with her.
Mary died in 1903 and was also buried in the Port Elliot
Isabella Inglis was a member of the Port Elliot ladies cricket
club. In 1938 she travelled to Scotland and visited relatives.
(The Isabella suite is named in her memory). Sam and Isabella
stayed on at Waverley after their Aunts death.
Samuel (Sam) Inglis became a farmer and grazier at Port Elliot. He
died in 1927 and was also buried in the Port Elliot cemetery.
Waverley had other owners, including the Brakenridge and Hornsby
families, right up until the mid 1960's when unfortunately it
remained unsold and abandoned and fell into disrepair until its
renovation in early 1990 by Chris Norris.
The Schoolhouse - 'George Anstey Academy for Young Gentlemen'.
Situated behind the main house, the School House was built
around the same time as the main house and used to conduct a
private school for boys.
An advertisement in the Southern Argus 5th March 1869 read:
'Academy for young Gentlemen, classics, mathematics taught. A sound
English Education given. Bookkeeping by double entry and
surveying if required. The next quarter commences in April 5th
approximo - no extras. Terms 3/3/- payable in advance.
George Anstey. References can be given if required.
The School House and basement were constructed from finely laid
bluestone. All quoins, window frames and door jambs were made
using local red brick. The roof was originally slate and the
windows had unusual multi-faceted panes.
The school was only open for five years.
In the heritage study of 1985, the main house received a 'B' listing but
the School House was classified in the 'A' category. The study
deemed the school room at Waverley to be a unique example of
South Australia's heritage - as the following demonstrates. 'Of
the many schools that once flourished in the region, this school
room is one of the oldest and most interesting examples and it
illustrates the early individual social development of Waterport'.